Sébastien Loeb Racing, wins and a one-two-three success at Slovakia Ring
Once again he has also settled himself as the man to beat in the WTCC Trophy having added another two wins to his prize list.
In Slovakia, Sébastien Loeb Racing confirms its good start of the season in the World Touring Car Championship. Just like in the opening race, Mehdi Bennani climbs on the second step of the podium overall, having been in the lead throughout most of the first race. Once again he has also settled himself as the man to beat in the WTCC Trophy having added another two wins to his prize list.
The first one was achieved in front of Tom Chilton and Grégoire Demoustier with a historic one-two-three for the team in this class. The squad, co-founded by Sébastien Loeb and Dominique Heintz, achieved a one-two in the second race, a great source of extra motivation for the upcoming round, at the Hungaroring, next weekend.
“I’ve got mixed feelings. I’m at the same time highly satisfied to have performed as well as I did at the Paul Ricard Circuit, with an overall podium and two new successes in the WTCC Trophy, but also a little bit disappointed not have claimed an overall win for the team”, Mehdi Bennani (No. 25 Citroën C-Elysée) recognizes. “I have to be realistic, we’re an independent team, but Sébastien Loeb Racing manages to deliver excellent work.
The car got difficult towards the end of the race because the extra weight proved to be a real disadvantage.
WTCC races are never easy, and just like we’ve proved this weekend, our work is paying off. We were penalized by the ballast which stood as a real disadvantage, our front tyres were suffering a lot and I did resist up until the end, it was only a matter of two laps. It’s a very positive outcome anyway because we still scored good points and showed that we can fight against official drivers. We now have to make the best of this good momentum to remain consistent in Hungary.”
“I’m very happy with how the weekend went”, Tom Chilton (No. 3 Citroën C-Elysée) explains. "I think I’ve had a lot of bad luck in qualifying because if I’d not been disturbed in my best lap, I could have claimed pole position in the WTCC Trophy, which means that I would have probably also ended on the overall podium with Mehdi. It’s a shame for the team and myself, and P11 is the worst place to be on the starting grid.
But I was very happy at the end of the opening race because I was just behind Muller and Lopez’s factory Citroën. After the main race I was again in the Top-10 and earned some good points in the overall championship. I’m also happy because I’m getting more familiar with the car and looking ahead to next week in Hungary, a track I love, where I’ve got some good experience and we should be lighter, there is real hope for a top result.”
“The qualifying sessions were tough for me, I’m still struggling to make the best of my new set of tyres”, Grégoire Demoustier (Citroën C-Elysée No. 11) adds. "I performed well in the first round, thanks to a good start which allowed me to gain two places. The car got difficult towards the end of the race because the extra weight proved to be a real disadvantage. It’s very encouraging to end up on the podium of the WTCC Trophy under these conditions, as well as to secure a one-two-three win for the Sébastien Loeb Racing team. We keep learning, we’re moving forward, and I hope that with the new distribution of ballast, we’ll be able to do better in Budapest. I’ve driven on the Hungaroring several times before, it’s a very technical and fast track, but I love it. It’s hard to overtake there and that’s why it will be crucial to secure a good qualifying.”
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